Marines supply team 'busiest on front line'
A team in charge of getting vital supplies to the front line of the war in Afghanistan has clocked up an important milestone.
The 40 Commando Royal Marines Immediate Resupply Group (IRG) has just completed its 150th replenishment patrol.
This makes them the most successful call sign in Nahr-e Saraj, where the Taunton-based commandos are just over half-way through a six-month tour of duty.
The IRG team operate out of Main Operating Base Price and between September and December had conducted around 120 patrols, delivering 2,180 tonnes of stores and transporting over 350 ranks safely to their destinations.
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And last month they topped the 150 mark, making them one of the most consistently busy call signs.
IRG team member Cpl Tom Allen, of the Royal Logistics Corps, said: "We are definitely the busiest call sign in the Nahr-e Saraj Area of Operation. We are out most days – often six out of seven – which makes the tour go really fast.
"Everyone in the area of operations appreciates the work of the IRG, especially as we bring them mail."
Patrols run the risk of landmines and coming under fire from Taliban fighters as well as environmental hazards posed by a country with a patchy road network.
Preparation for a patrol starts the night before, with company making any last-minute changes to the next day's load. On the morning of departure any passengers are rounded up to join the IRG which is an excellent means of getting around the area and seeing locations that are visited infrequently by helicopters.
Once loaded, the IRG departs and then goes from patrol base to patrol base, delivering kit to one or collecting personnel from another.
On return, the IRG either prepares for another afternoon patrol or for the following day's tasking. Mne Conor Bohan, said: "On one occasion one of our wagons got stuck in a wadi (river bed). We had to jump into waist- deep water to hook up a line and drag the vehicle out, all the while there was a very real threat warning for that immediate area."
The IRG is made up of ten Royal Marines, ten personnel from the Royal Logistic Corps and a Gurkha from the Royal Gurkha Rifles.